In the twilight zone between [2]pseudorotaxanes and [2]rotaxanes

Jan O. Jeppesen*, Scott A. Vignon, J. Fraser Stoddart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


A [2]pseudorotaxane, based on a semi-dumbbell-shaped component containing asymmetrically substituted monopyrrolotetrathiafulvalene and 1,5-dioxynaphthalene recognition sites for encirclement by cyclobis(paraquat-p-phenylene) and with a "speed bump" in the form of a thiomethyl group situated between the two recognition sites, has been self-assembled. This supramolecular entity is a mixture in solution of two slowly interconverting [2]pseudorotaxanes, one of which is on the verge of being a [2]rotaxane at room temperature, allowing it to be isolated by employing flash column chromatography. These two [2]pseudorotaxanes were both characterized in solution by UV/Vis and 1H NMR spectroscopies (1D and 2D) and also by differential pulse voltammetry. The spectroscopic and electrochemical data reveal that one of the complexes behaves wholly as a [2]pseudorotaxane, while the other has some [2]rotaxane character to it. The kinetics of the shuttling of cyclobis(paraquat-p-phenylene) between the monopyrrolotetrathiafulvalene and the 1,5-dioxynaphthalene recognition sites have been investigated at different temperatures. The shuttling processes, which are accompanied by detectable color changes, can be monitored using UV/ Vis and 1H NMR spectroscopies; the spectroscopic data have been employed in the determination of the rate constants, free energies of activation, enthalpies of activation, and the entropies of activation for the translation of cyclobis(paraquat-p-phenylene) between the two recognition sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4611-4625
Number of pages15
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 6 2003


  • Electrochemistry
  • Kinetics
  • Rotaxanes
  • Self-assembly
  • Supramolecular chemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Organic Chemistry


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